With the uncorrupted version of those words, Coleridge ushered in modern poetry and started British Romanticism. I’m not sure what the droughts in Brazil and the American Southwest will usher in, but I hope that these droughts will cause our federal government to emplace a life-sustaining resource policy with a broad impact….
I’ve mentioned before that humans can generally survive a week without water. This is kinda a thing, because the GOP has developed an obsessive-compulsive need to run this country via procrastination that would make a freshman nervous followed by 11th-hour brinkmanship. The first thing that comes to mind when I consider the 2013 Shutdown and Continuing Budget Resolutions is South Park 14:01, “Sexual Healing” – a/k/a auto-erotic asphyxiation.
Brazil is my proxy and example of drought. They are having to face their drought on a timeline that is about 6 months ahead of us, but they seem to having a more concentrated issue. Brazil’s drought is generally that there’s too many people for the volume of freshwater available. Background:
Their federal government has more or less been using Petrobras (Brazil’s national petroleum and energy company) to launder money for political purposes since, more or less, Brazil was the “B” in BRIC. Bonus: nobody gave a shit about stewarding their natural resources, e.g., the deforestation in Brazil. This also extends to their drinking water (my apologies for collapsing two decades into two sentences, but your attention span is only so long and this is mostly about the US). Further reading: Nov’14 “Sleep-Walking into Crisis”, and Mar’15 “Megacity on Verge of Crisis.”
Did you know that NASA studies our planet as much as they study leaving our planet? https://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/december/nasa-analysis-11-trillion-gallons-to-replenish-california-drought-losses NasaNerds go so far as to measure changes in gravitational fields, because that is a great way of measuring changes in ground water and underground acquifiers. NasaNerds also measure snowpack in the Sierra Nevada by measuring the amount of reflected sunlight – the snowpack is reaching new lows: 2013 was the worst on record, until 2015 was 60% of 2014. Yikes. NASA concluded that the Southwest in a state of drought such that it to regain historical baselines, 11,000,000,000,000 gallons of water will be needed – or about 35 Lake Lanier’s (at it’s current approx. level).
Ah, Lake Lanier. Originally built for flood control, power generation, and navigation, it’s now one of the most important water supplies in the Southeast. My mistake, confining the freshwater crisis to the South-West. Oh yea, the Northeast has a latent problem with water too – all that fracking is caused aquifer damage (national energy security concerns outweigh the risks of fracking, because we, as a society, are too afraid of nuclear).
Right. What’s all that sciencey-crap mean for us as a country?
About a month ago, Senator Cruz attacked NASA’s budget allocations. He held a hearing on the 2016 budget requests, and prepared exhibits, charts, etc. A chart behind titled “Focus Inward or Focus Outward? Refocusing NASA’s Core Priorities” compared NASA’s budget in 2009 with the 2016 request. Cruz pointed out that NASA spent 41% more on studying our Earth in 2016 than in 2009, while space exploration has decreased 7.6%, and then concluded:
“In my judgment, this does not represent a fair or appropriate allocation of resources, that it is shifting resources away from the core functions of NASA to other functions.”
In the words of NASA Administrator Bolden, “It is absolutely critical that we understand Earth’s environment because this is the only place that we have to live.” Sidebar: I like being alive. I’m relatively sure you do, too. We need water to be alive. I also really like how the Communications Director at the Communications Defense Fund explains the Republican Party’s decision to put Senator Ted in charge of science, “Having someone chair the Science Committee who claims there is no evidence of climate change in the last 15 years — when 13 of the 14 hottest years on record have occurred in the 21st century — is not an encouraging development.”
In my judgement, Senator Ted exhibits cognitive abilities that are not as analytically sound as this Ted. Further, I demand that Ted sexually heal the drought, because he and the GOP are steadily mounting an insurgency against the scientific study of that which sustains our life. Rather, If you wanna know what happens when you govern with absolutely no regard for environmental science and absolutely no self-reflection and investigation of the outcomes of your policies, look at Brazil, and then look at Senator Ted.
Keep teabaggin Koch, Senator.